Redskins

Cowboys refreshed, urgent in return from bye week

Cowboys refreshed, urgent in return from bye week

IRVING, Texas (AP) When the Dallas Cowboys returned to work Monday following their bye week, they had the same number of losses as the two teams ahead of them in the NFC East.

More important than the standings was how the Cowboys (2-2) felt about themselves after an extended break.

``We had a week to recoup, refresh, regroup,'' cornerback Brandon Carr said after their first practice in five days. ``I felt like we were refreshed, guys had a sense of urgency. We just erased the last four weeks out of our memory. ... Guys are just eager to get out there and to have fun, just get out there and mix it up a little bit.''

Asked about the New York Giants and Philadelphia both being 3-2, only a half-game ahead of Dallas, Carr said he didn't even know the records of the other teams in the division.

The Cowboys have enough to think about with their upcoming stretch of four of five games on the road. The first is Sunday at AFC North-leading Baltimore (4-1).

``You know they're going to be physical. They play that way. That's their style,'' defensive lineman Marcus Spears said. ``Obviously they've been playing great ball for a while. But we've got to go up there and handle our business. It's not about them, it's about us.''

After the Ravens, the Cowboys are at Carolina before their only home game in a six-week stretch, against the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. Dallas beat New York on the road in the season opener in its only division game so far.

Then the Cowboys travel to Atlanta (5-0) and Philadelphia.

Two starters in the middle could be back after the bye week. Center Phil Costa and Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff both practiced Monday.

Costa was hampered throughout much of training camp by back issues. He returned in time to play the final preseason game, then started the opener and lasted only one series before being sidelined again.

Costa's return comes with Ryan Cook bothered by a hamstring injury. The Cowboys got Cook from Miami in a trade at the end of the preseason, and he had been the center since the second series against the Giants.

Ratliff hasn't played yet this season because of a high ankle sprain.

``Getting Jay back is like getting three guys back. In the nickel packages, in the base packages and then teams actually game plan for Jay Ratliff,'' Spears said. ``It'll give other guys the opportunity to probably make more plays and have more success because he's in the game.''

Linebacker Anthony Spencer also was at practice after missing the Cowboys' 34-18 loss to Chicago because of a strained pectoral.

``It feels good to essentially have all your guys back out there,'' Carr said.

Before practice Monday, the Cowboys added running back Lance Dunbar to their 53-man roster from the practice squad. He ran for 105 yards with a 58-yard touchdown in the preseason finale against Miami.

But the speedy Dunbar, an undrafted rookie from North Texas, will be used primarily on special teams. He could have an immediate impact.

``He's very aggressive and active,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ``So we want to give him a chance to do that. He's also done some returning for us as well. So just wherever he's needed. We'll give him some work in practice at the different spots and see how he responds.''

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

go-go_white_logo.png
Associated Press

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE WIZARDS NEWS